Malaysia wants to strengthen its aviation ties with Cambodia, said a high-ranking Malaysian official.
Malaysia’s Deputy Transport Minister, Datuk Aziz Kaprawi, disclosed that he is hoping to see more Cambodian airlines making their way to Malaysia, as it would raise his country’s tourist arrivals.
“More flights means more passengers and better connectivity. It will strengthen the relationship between Malaysia and Cambodia as Kuala Lumpur is viewed as an icon in Asean,” Kaprawi said.
“The fact that by the end of January there would be four airlines operating between Phnom Penh and Kuala Lumpur is a very positive indication of the growth of travellers between the two destinations as well as the Asean region as a whole.
“Malaysia is a tourist destination and so is Cambodia, with its many heritage sites and cultural venues which attract millions each year. Thus, additional flights by other airlines can only benefit both countries in promoting tourism and trade.”
Kaprawi went on to say that the two nations took a crucial step in bolstering connectivity between them with the upcoming launch of the Phnom Penh and Kuala Lumpur route of Bassaka Air.
“If a fifth freedom flight agreement could be worked with reciprocal rights for Malaysian airlines, the travel sector between Malaysia and Phnom Penh will be more attractive and even more convenient for travellers, not just tourists but also businessmen.
“For Bassaka Air, I am confident that they will do well as I am sure they have done their studies and will probably cater to a niche market in addition to other travellers,” he said.
With four firms now plying the Phnom Penh-Kuala Lumpur route, Cambodia-based airlines should at least examine tour packages and other incentives to attract more travellers, Kaprawi said.
Kaprawi also proposed that Bassaka Air consider entering into codeshare agreements with regional carriers. It can even act as a feeder airline, Kaprawi suggested, for destinations within the kingdom that are not served by large carriers.